A new data report released by the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) last week found that more than a million guns were sold in the United States for the 39th straight month in October.
Monthly data from the NSSF estimates that around 1,265,311 guns were sold at retail last month. While that number is down 11.3 percent from October 2021, it is still the fourth highest October since 2000, according to the data report. The NSSF bases its findings on the number of federal background checks run through the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS).
Monthly gun sales have exceeded one million since August 2019, but since 2020, have at times topped 2 million, according to NSSF data.
With more than 21 million guns sold, 2020 broke the previous record which was set in 2016 by over 34 percent, and 2021 surged to second place with 18.5 million sold.
Currently, around 13,158,454 gun sales have occurred and are on pace to make it the third-best year tracked by NSSF.
Gun experts familiar with the increase in gun sales say it involves a list of reasons including the uptick in robberies, homicides, and other violent level crimes occurring in cities throughout the U.S.
Even with the ongoing debate over gun control and calls for bans on certain firearms from Democratic politicians and progressive advocacy groups, the latest NSSF report indicates that more and more Americans are seeking firearms and proper training use.
“Background checks continue to reflect a steady interest by law-abiding Americans to exercise their God-given Second Amendment rights,” Mark Oliva, public affairs director for NSSF. “Despite the claims of some elected officials that crime is not a national concern, these figures reflect the true sentiment of America. These gun owners are choosing to protect themselves.”
In red states, Republican governors and state legislatures have enacted an open carry policy, allowing civilians to carry firearms to defend themselves. According to a report from Pew Research Center in 2021, around 40 percent of U.S. adults say there is a gun in the household. Personal protection topped the list of reasons for gun ownership in a 2019 Gallup poll.